I have been exploring what makes the biggest difference between freeware and commercial products. Personally, my policy is that whenever I need to do something on my computer I will, 100% of the time, choose a free alternative as opposed to a product that needs to be purchased. Purchasing software often breaks the bank for individual users and unless you are running a business that will be profiting from the software the end result is just not worth the cost.
Do you think that software prices are properly priced for individual users?
Would it be better if software was free and users could pay for additional things such as support and data hosting?
An alternative could possibly be semi-open source projects where source code was not available unless a someone purchased it. Basically the software would be free to download and use but if someone wanted the source code to modify or compile themselves then they would have to buy a copy of the code. This might be beneficial for some open-source projects because it would support the developers and let them spend more time making the product better. Obviously this is not a perfect scenario because the software project would risk losing contributions from many people which is where most open-source projects gain their strength.